GO & GOVARDHAN PUJA

Go Puja & Govardhana Puja festival was celebrated on Friday, 20th October. The festival started 6 pm with Tulasi puja followed by Go puja (worship of the cows), Govardhana Puja (worship of Govardhana hill) and Deepotsava. Devotees were spell bound by looking at the magnificent Govardhana Hill made with 220 Kgs. of delicious Cake. Various kinds of food items including rice preparations, sweets & savories were also prepared and offered to Lord Krishna on the auspicious day.
This festival is celebrated in commemoration of the fascinating pastime of Lord Krishna’s lifting the Govardhana hill, when angry Indra sent torrents of rain accompanied by showers of ice blocks and high wind to disturb the residents of Vrindavana. Lord Krishna immediately took compassion upon the residents of Vrindavana and protected them by picking up the Govardhana Hill, just as a child picks up a mushroom.
Hundreds of devotees thronged the temple to witness this grand celebration and cherished the opportunity of offering a ghee lamp to Lord Krishna individually, on account of Karthika Deepotsava and received the blessings of the Lord.

ISKCON DASARA

More than 10000 devotees participated in the South Indian biggest Ravan Dahan organised by ISKCON, Jayanagar as part of its 8th Annual Dasara festival celebrations commemorating the pastime of the victory of Lord Rama over the evil King Ravana on Saturday, 30th Sept.

While speaking on the subject “Krishna Bhakti : Beyond good and evil”, Sriman Madhu Pandit Das, President of ISKCON Bangalore and Chairman of Akshaya Patra Foundation said that “There is always a war within our own heart, between good and evil. The destruction of Ravana by Lord Rama represents the destruction of evil within oneself and in the society at large. By adopting the process of chanting of the Holy name of the Lord one can destroy the evil within in the form of lust, anger, greed, and pride”.  Artists from Mudrika Foundation for Indian Performing Arts, Bengaluru performed “Raghuvamsha Charita” – a dance drama depicting the significant pastimes of Lord Ramachandra as described by Maharaja Swati Thirunal in his beautiful kriti, ‘Bhavayami Raghu Ramam’. Followed by this was the eye captivating vista of Their Lordships Sri Krishna & Balarama adorned as Sri Rama & Lakshmana going on a joyous ride on the “Gaja Vahana” while the devotees enjoyed pulling the chariot singing Hare Krishna Mantra.

The burning of 60 ft. high effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarana and Meghanad marking the victory of Lord Rama over Rakshasa Ravana and also to indicate the victory of truth over evil was a spectacular excitement for the devotees. The crowd gathered in thousands displayed loud exultations as the effigies burnt down to the sound of firecrackers.

Balaram Jayanthi

Balaram Jayanthi was celebrated on Monday, 7th August. Sri Sri KRISHNA BALARAM were adorned with new set of white dresses to match the theme of Purnima. Evening program began at 6:00 p.m with Tulasi Puja, Sandhya Aarti followed by a grand 64 Kalasha abhishekam to the utsava Deities of Krishna and Balarama. Abhishekam included panchamrita snana (milk, yoghurt, ghee, honey, and sweet water), panchagavya snana, varieties of fruits juices and milk shakes, aushadi snana (herbs) and tender coconut water.

A number of varieties of arati was offered with accompaniment of Sankirtan. While the sanctified water from the 64 Kalasha was offered, Purusha Sukta was chanted. Abhishekam ended with the showering of multitude of flowers. A special video presentation on the pastimes and various expansions of Lord Balaram was shown. Pushparachana was performed with the chanting of Balarama Ashtotra. Celebrations ended with more than 500 devotees honouring Maha Prasadam.

LIFE IS A CHOICE : SPIRITUAL HIGHWAY OR MATERIAL DRAIN.

Excerpts from today’s Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.39 class given by H G Jai Chaitanya Prabhu.

Translation : “One’s riches, beautiful wife and female friends, one’s sons and daughters, one’s residence, one’s domestic animals like cows, elephants and horses, one’s treasury, economic development and sense gratification indeed, even the lifetime in which one can enjoy all these material opulences—are certainly temporary and flickering. Since the opportunity of human life is temporary, what benefit can these material opulences give to a sensible man who has understood himself to be eternal? “

  1. Conclusions repeatedly said in all the Shastras – “Material life is unnecessary, useless”. But the irony is , everybody considers material life to be all in all.
  2. Situation in material world is funny. Even though body is useless and life is useless, still it has to be made useful for spiritual life.
  3. After seeing the spiritual highway and material drain, it is up to us to choose which path to choose. Having known the unnecessary path, one should choose the necessary path. Having seen the sufferings in material life, one should choose the spiritual path. Why walk in the material drain and become dirty and then complain.
  4. This choice to choose the right path is  always given to the living entities, as a mercy of the Lord. Whenever there is problem in material world, people approach Lord for help. Lord has always been kind enough and acted as the order supplier.
  5. Srimad Bhagavatam explains again and again that this material world is like chewing the chewed. This has to be reminded again and again to the living entities, so that this fact becomes deeply ingrained. For the purpose of existence of material world, material life is necessary so as to give a chance for liberation.
  6. How to convert material dirt into opportunity to advance in spiritual life? – Until one understands that we are eternal, we are a non-sense. World is a like a thorn, already a thorn has pricked us. Only way to remove the thorn is thru one more thorn. Similarly, material body is required to remove material body. This is the way to understand contradictions in the material world. Therefore, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has given the philosophy of ” achintya bheda abheda” The principle of simultaneous one and difference.
  7. Stri means one who expands one’s attachment to material life. Therefore Shastras says that no one should become a guardian until he is in a position to deliver his dependents from the clutches of Birth & Death.
  8. One essential quality of a preacher is that, he should always secure himself first before preaching. People should feel that this devotee has got something which I don’t have.
  9. God is impartial order supplier. Just like those who pay tax for the government, enjoy the benefits. Those who don’t pay, are punished. Similarly it is the free will of living entities to decide, where he should go…
  10. If there is no spiritual satisfaction, it is very difficult to resist the temptation &  influence of Maya.
  11. Spiritualist knows that one day ultimately he has to go towards KRISHNA, therefore he immediately starts making preparations towards reaching the ultimate goal.
  12. Secret to balance in the material world –  Work for the essential requirements, and focus on actual Spiritual reality. Understanding soul and God is directly proportional to how much one has conquered Maya.
  13. Whole endeavour of humanity has been to find the known. Even physics also say that 85% of matter is dark.  But, the truth is by knowing KRISHNA, everything is known.
  14. The tendency to know something beyond matter, can come only by Spiritual Tapasya. In proportion to which we know Krishna, we get detached from Maya. Then we can experience real spiritual happiness.
  15. One price we have to pay to reach the ultimate goal is to suffer for the reactions of past sinful Karmic actions. Only way to overcome this reactions is to strengthen the kavacha and continue spiritual practices with perseverance.
  16. Little bit motivation in form of a few spiritual glimpses either through realizations, hearing Bhagavatam, Chanting Hare Krishna or through Prasadam should help one continue the journey in spiritual life.
  17. Process to handle problems in material world, is not how to avoid the problems, but learn how to touch Krishna.
  18. Biggest Tapasya in Kali-yuga is to sacrifice the hearing and talking process to hear and talk about Krishna KATHA.

New Temple

In the city of monuments, ISKCON Mysore plans to build ‘Nava Brindavan Dham’- a spectacular cultural monument for social and spiritual upliftment. It was the desire of Srila Prabhupada, our Founder-Acharya, that monumental temples be built. Temples that disseminate spiritual knowledge to all, thereby creating a world of unity and peace.

In his words –
“We are therefore trying to give human society the opportunity for a life of
happiness, good health, peace of mind and all good qualities through God
consciousness” – Srila Prabhupada.

Designed in neo-classical style, the temple harmoniously integrates the age old charm
of Hoysala architecture and modern architectural forms; blending ethnicity with
abstractness. Envisioned on a 9 acre land, with a temple foot-print of 2 acres,the
project will feature attractive sound and light shows within its landscape, depicting
the glorious Indian culture and tradition.

History of ISKCON Mysuru

It was the year 1992. The construction of building a grandeur temple for Lord Krishna at Hare Krishna Hill, Bangalore had already started and the devotees were fully focusing on conducting outreach programs along with mobilizing funds for completing this magnificent temple. It was during then, His Grace Jai Chaitanya Prabhu took a leading step and independently organised a massive Ratha Yatra in Mysuru which made way for planting the seed of Krishna consciousness among the thousands of devotees who enthusiastically participated in the festival.

Later, on completion of this sprawling temple at Hare Krishna Hill, Bangalore in the year 1997, the devotees wishing to spread the movement further, took lead steps in conducting many more preaching programs in various cities of Karnataka. Thus, His Grace Jai Chaitanya Prabhu and His Grace Stoka Krishna Prabhu started visiting Mysuru frequently for conducting various outreach programs. Further, His Grace Stoka Krishna Prabhu, who was entrusted with the service of translating Srimad Bhagavatam and Chaitanya Charitamruta into Kannada, made a gateway for making trips to Mysuru regularly which also helped in reaching to many more devotees in the city.

Seeing the overwhelming response from the people of Mysuru, there felt a need of starting a preaching centre here and thus in the year 1999, His Grace Stoka Krishna Prabhu along with few other devotees rented a house in Gokulam to house the deities of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama, which began the journey of ISKCON, Mysuru. Further, as the congregation grew in numbers, the necessity of a larger place to conduct the preaching activities was felt. During then, after extensive searching, a 44-acre kharab land in the Malalavadi grama was identified in the Jayanagar part of Mysuru. ISKCON Mysuru, during the year 2002, approached the Government of Karnataka to allot 9 acres of this land for the purpose of building a religious and cultural centre for which the sanction was received in the year 2003.

Soon after the allotment, a temporary structure was built in the year 2004 and the deities of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama were brought to their new place along with the starting of Akshaya Patra kitchen feeding 2000 school children everyday.

The plan for the construction of new cultural centre named “Nava Brindavan Dham” was conceived by His Grace Jai Chaitanya Prabhu and Her Grace Bhaktilatha Devi Mataji in the year 2008. A new Akshaya Patra kitchen was inaugurated in June, 2009 by then Chief Minister of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa which scaled up the feeding capacity to 25,000 children covering nearly 190 schools across Mysuru and the temple also received a major face-list in the same year.

In year 2012, beautiful marble Deities of Sri Sri KRISHNA BALARAMA arrived from Bellary much to pleasure of Mysuru devotees. This was followed by the installation of Utsava Deities of Sri Sri Lakshmi Narasimha on 3rd May 2015.

In the year 2016, the plan for the Nava Brindavan Dham Cultural Centre was cleared from various departments of the government. On the auspicious occasion of Vijaya Dashami 11th October 2016, the Bhumi Puja for the Nava Brindavan Dham project was conducted. This was followed by the ‘SHILANYAS’ on 2nd April, 2017 performed by His Excellency Vajubhai Rudhabhai Vala, Honorable Governor of Karnataka. The devotees of ISKCON Mysuru are eager to execute the construction of this much awaited cultural centre and dedicate to their beloved spiritual master Srila Prabhupada.

Sri Krishna Janmashtami

The day when Lord Krishna took birth is called as Janmastami. The Janmastami festival is celebrated by millions of people every year all over the world. During the birth of Lord Krishna, the whole atmosphere became filled with prosperity and joy. The trees were laden with fruits and flowers.

The rivers were overflowing with water, and the lakes were beautifully decorated with lotus flowers. The birds in the forest began to sing with sweet voices, and the peacocks began to dance. The wind blew very pleasantly, carrying the aroma of different flowers. All the people’s minds became filled with peace and joy.

The denizens of the heavenly planets began to sing, offer prayers and dance on the auspicious occasion. The heavenly residents being pleased also began to shower flowers. At the seashore there was the sound of mild waves, and above the sea there were clouds in the sky which began to thunder very pleasingly.

Amidst such a wonderful atmosphere, Lord Krishna in order to protect his devotees took birth as the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudeva, bringing boundless joy to both of them.
Srila Prabhupada on Lord Krishna’s appearance
“Although the Lord appears on schedule, namely at the end of the Dvapara-yuga of the twenty-eighth millennium of the seventh Manu in one day of Brahma, He has no obligation to adhere to such rules and regulations, because He is completely free to act in many ways at His will. He therefore appears by His own will whenever there is a predominance of religiosity and a disappearance of true religion.” – BG 4.7, Purport
Sri Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations begin at ISKCON, Mysuru from early morning 4.15 am onwards and continue up to 1 am the next day. Sri Krishna Balarama, the presiding Deities of ISKCON Mysuru are be bedecked in a special decoration for the occasion. Darshan is open throughout the day. The special attraction during Janmashtami celebration is the elaborate Maha-abhisheka to Sri Krishna Balarama which begins at 10 pm and culminates with Maha Mangala arati & Sankirtana at 12 Midnight, coinciding with the time of Krishna’s birth.

As part of the Janmashtami celebrations, throughout the day many singers perform Sangeethotsava seva during festival in the main temple hall. In the evening, a devotional musical concert and a special dance drama is arranged based on pastimes of Lord Krishna. A special feature of the festival is the HARINAM MANTAP, were thousands of visiting devotees are introduced to the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha mantra.

 

Shilanyas

SHILANYAS, foundation stone for the Nava Brindavan Dham, ISKCON Mysuru Cultural Centre was laid by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala on April 2. Designed in neo-classical style, the 60 meter structure of the temple will integrate the old charm of Hoysala architecture and ultra-modern hi-tech architectural forms, creating an exotic blend of ethnicity and abstractness.
Speaking on this historic event, His Excellency mentioned that “in these days of degrading values, the time tested support of culture and heritage are the recourse for the peaceful existence of humanity. Thus it is of utmost importance that ISKCON has conceived to present this centre as a cultural project for the re-spiritualisation of the entire human society.” Further he added that “the absence of this essential element in the modern society, has created a vacuum, a sense of dissatisfaction and unrest. People are unable to find inner fulfillment and the ever increasing need for peace and happiness. It was this condition that was rectified by the efforts of His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Through his teachings Srila Prabhupada has emphasized the need of encouraging cultural as well as spiritual growth, through such centres, so that society can fulfill its urge for everlasting happiness and peace”.
Sriman Madhu Pandit Das, President of ISKCON Bangalore and Chairman of Akshaya Patra Foundation presiding the ceremony said that “Nava Vrindavan Dham will be an abode of the Lord, wherein visitors will learn to look at our heritage from a very rational and a scientific point of view. The Nava Brindavan Dham cultural center though architecturally a monument, the essence of its existence is to promote learning of  Indian philosophy through scriptures like Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavatam and other Puranas and promoting traditional Indian arts, dance, music. Nava Brindavan Dham, besides being a cultural center will be hub for many more social initiatives like Akshaya Patra.” 
Appealing everyone to support this great cause, he also announced on setting up free residential schools for 50000 underprivileged children all over the country, under which a school to house 2000 children will be set up in Mahadevapura, near Mysuru as yet another social initiative of ISKCON.”

PWD and Mysuru District In-charge Minister Dr.H.C. Mahadevappa, Her Highness Dr. Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, MLA M.K. Somashekar, Mayor M.J. Ravi Kumar, ISKCON Hubballi President Rajiv Lochan Das, President of Hare Krishna Movement Chennai, Stoka Krishna Dasa and ISKCON Mysuru President Jai Chaitanya Dasa were present.

After the foundation laying ceremony, an enthralling music performance “Krishnanjali” was rendered by Vijay Yesudas, son of legendary singer K.J. Yesudas.

Sri Ramanavami

Lord Ramachandra – the worshipable Deity of millions, the ideal son, husband, brother, master, king, administrator and above everything, the direct incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared on the ninth day (Navami) of the waxing moon (Shukla Paksha) of Chaitra masa in Treta yuga. The appearance day of Lord Rama, Sri Rama Navami will be celebrated in many parts of the world as SRI RAMA NAVAMI

The Srimad Bhagavatam and the Ramayana give us vivid portrayals of the state of affairs during Lord Rama’s reign that they can make us hanker for such a situation just by hearing those narrations. The following description of the rule of Lord Rama from the Srimad Bhagavatam can fill anyone with wonder and delight.

“jugopa pitrvad ramo
menire pitaram ca tam”

“After accepting the throne of the state, Lord Rämachandra cared for the citizens exactly like a loving father, and the citizens, being fully satisfied and pleased, accepted Him as their father. When Lord Ramachandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was the King of this world, all bodily and mental suffering, disease, old age, bereavement, lamentation, distress, fear and fatigue were completely absent. There was even no death for those who did not want it. During the reign of Lord Ramachandra the forests, the rivers, the hills and mountains, the states, the seven islands and the seven seas were all favorable in supplying the necessities of life for all living beings.” (Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 9 chapter 10)

The main significance behind the celebration of this festival is that the character of Lord Rama signifies someone who follow the right path against all odds in life. He was also the true embodiment of humanity. So celebration of Ram Navami is a special way to remember all the noble deeds performed by Lord Rama.

At ISKCON, Mysuru on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami, the Deities of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama are decorated as Rama and Lakshmana. The evening program begins from 6 pm onwards with Sri Rama Taraka Homa, followed by a special Video presentation on the pastimes of Lord Ramachandra. A special song which narrates the entire Ramayana “NAMA RAMAYANA” is also sung. The program ends with the chanting of Sri Rama ashtottara shata namavali, arati with sankirtan and prasadam.

All modern research finally comes back to the Vedic conclusions.

Excerpts from Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.40 class given by H G Rasika Shekara Prabhu on 21st August, 2016
Translation : It is learned from Vedic literature that by performing great sacrifices one may elevate himself to the heavenly planets. However, although life on the heavenly planets is hundreds and thousands of times more comfortable than life on earth, the heavenly planets are not pure [nirmalam], or free from the taint of material existence. The heavenly planets are also temporary, and therefore they are not the goal of life. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, has never been seen or heard to possess inebriety. Consequently, for your own benefit and self-realization, you must worship the Lord with great devotion, as described in the revealed scriptures.
  1. Prahlad urging all his classmates to take up KRISHNA consciousness seriously by serving the Lord and derive the highest standard of happiness and also solve all their material problems.
  2. Everyone in the material world is trying to engage in different attempts to increase their standard of happiness, but all their attempts are resulting only in misery.
  3. All modern research finally comes back to the Vedic conclusions.. For example…Companies are now advertising customers to go back to charcoal toothbrush and toothpaste as it was used in the vedic times. Therefore Shastras should be used as manual & guiding tool for mankind.
  4. Lord appears as many incarnations to protect this knowledge of the Vedas..e.g. Lord came as Matsya avatar to protect the vedas from devastataion, Lord came as Hayagriva to bring Vedas stolen by demons madhu and kaitbha.
  5. There are certain class of people called Karma kandis..who read the Vedas, follow the Vedas to advance to heavenly planets, but miss the ultimate conclusion of Vedas of surrendering to Krishna. Even life in heavenly planets is temporary and full of miseries. All post occupied by demigods are also temporary.
  6. More a devotee sacrifices material things, more he gets mercy of the Lord. A renunciant is called Maharaj, because he has become master of his senses and has the treasure of transcendental knowledge and happiness.
  7. Tue religion doesn’t propagate violence, violence is propagated only when necessary. But, when people were killing a lot of animals based on wrong understanding of Vedas, Lord appeared as Lord Buddha and totally disregarded Vedas and preached Non-Violence as the topmost religion..
  8. But the Vedas are central to Vedic Culture, so  in order to bring back the Vedas, the Lord appeared as Shankaracharya and preached “Bhaja Govindam”.
  9. Greatest contribution of SRIMAD Bhagavatam. All kinds of tapa-trayas(three-fold miseries) will be removed and all material tribulations is ended. It takes a soul and makes him connect with KRISHNA.
  10. Dissatisfaction in life becomes of because of not being connected to Supreme Lord who is fully satisfied.
  11. Srila Prabhupada’s greatest contribution was translating the Vedic literatures to English language applicable to the current modern context.
  12. By hearing SRIMAD Bhagavatam from the mouth of pure devotee, philosophy of KRISHNA consciousness is deeply ingrained in the heart.
  13. Guru can see beyond the externals and guide the disciple about the future reality. By coming in touch with a pure devotee, one gets a clue to go back to Godhead.
  14. Nature of this world anityam asukham, dukhalaya ashashvatam.
  15. Self-realization means understanding KRISHNA and our relationship with Him.
  16. The best purpose of Vedic literature is served by chanting Hare Krishna as recommended by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Anybody who is doing this is called a Vedantist, one who has understood the ultimate conclusion of the Vedas.
  17. Chanting and devotional service is not an option, one has to take up Krishna consciousness seriously for his own benefit to come out of the repeated cycle of birth and death.
  18. By regular hearing and focusing on the ultimate goal, one does not worry too much about day to day material disturbances.